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The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest
Contributor(s): Moncrieff, Helena

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ISBN: 1770413537     ISBN-13: 9781770413535
Publisher: Ecw Pr
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: April 2018


Examining the roots and fruits of the urban foodscape

Our cities are places of food polarities — food deserts and farmers’ markets, hunger and food waste, fast food delivery and urban gardening. While locavores and preserving pros abound, many of us can’t identify the fruit trees in our yards or declare a berry safe to eat. Those plants — and the people who planted them — are often forgotten.

In The Fruitful City, Helena Moncrieff examines our relationship with food through the fruit trees that dot city streets and yards. She tracks the origins of these living heirlooms and questions how they went from being subsistence staples to raccoon fodder. But in some cities, previously forgotten fruit is now in high demand, and Moncrieff investigates the surge of non-profit urban harvest organizations that try to prevent that food from rotting on concrete and meets the people putting rescued fruit to good use.

As she travels across Canada, slipping into backyards, visiting community orchards, and taking in canning competitions, Moncrieff discovers that attitudinal changes are more important than agricultural ones. While the bounty of apples is great, reconnecting with nature and our community is the real prize.

Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Gardening | Urban
- Social Science | Sociology | Urban
- Gardening | Fruit
Dewey: 635
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.00" W x 0.75" (0.55 lbs) 222 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):

Helena Moncrieff is a writer, professor, former radio journalist, and lifelong city dweller. Her writing has appeared in Best Health magazine, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and many in-house publications. Her freezer is full of fruit collected from other peoples backyards. She lives in Toronto.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Moncrieff, a former radio journalist, reveals how foraging for fruit in urban environments does much more than put food on the table—it also connects people and communities. The book recounts the stories of immigrants who brought fruit trees—apples, pears, and even figs—to their adopted lands, keeping fragile connections with their former homes by tending and nurturing the trees. Despite harsh conditions, these trees changed the landscape and prospered, but in the hands of subsequent generations and new owners, they often fell into neglect, casualties of the convenience of the supermarket and fast-paced modern life. Now, however, Moncrief describes a renaissance in which the fruit tree is reclaiming its rightful place in the 21st century, as urbanites rediscover the pleasures of home grown food and environmentalists advocate eating local products. She meets with the two men who in 1998 founded the Fruit Tree Project in Victoria, B.C., which has steadily grown; its 2015 harvest was 42,000 pounds of urban fruit that might otherwise have rotted on the ground. Similar non-profit efforts that benefit food banks and charities have since sprouted up across Canada and in the U.S. Moncrieff eloquently reminds readers of the bounty and beauty that surround them. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.
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